WELCOME TO CANDLELIGHT
You can read all about the beginning of Candlelight in the Event History pages of this website..
Dunster by Candlelight is paid for by the Traders of Dunster in aid of St Margaret's Hospice here in Somerset. As well as Street collections every £1 from the sale of the programmes goes to the Hospice.
We don't charge to come to Candlelight.
The only cost is catching the bus to Dunster.
This payment helps towards the cost of the buses, Candlelight and a contribution towards the Hospice
When you arrive in Dunster it is 'possible' to walk from one end to the other enjoying all the entertainment without any cost. Of course we hope you will buy something in the shops or put some pennies in the collecting tins but, that is up to you.
Dunster by Candlelight takes place every year on the first Friday and Saturday in December. In 2017 it is the 1st and 2nd December, when this remarkably preserved medieval village turns its back on the present and lights its streets with candles. Collections are made in aid of St Margaret's Hospice.
To mark the beginning of the festival on Friday at 5.30pm on the Steep just above where the bus drops you, there is the
Lantern Lighting Procession.
The procession starts on the Steep and continues through the village until all the lanterns in the streets have been lit. The procession of children and their families is accompanied by colourful (and tall!) Stiltwalkers in fantastic costumes who put up the lanterns. Come and join in. Even better if you come in a suitable medieval costume.
On the Saturday night we have the 17th Century soldiers marching through the village from the West Street end with their flaming torches. They arrive in the High Street usually around 7pm. check your programme.
During both evenings there are a variety of street entertainers who include Carol Singers, Morris Dancers, Hand Bell Ringers, Entertainment in all three Streets that are closed to traffic, Activity and Shows in the Tithe Barn and Choirs in the Parish Church and entertainment in The Castle. (There is a charge for non National Trust members in the Castle)
The atmosphere throughout is both traditional and exciting, truly an event for all ages.
Dunster by Candlelight was founded in 1986 by Hannah Bradshaw and the Dunster Traders Association that was also re-instated that year. The Traders Association was disbanded several years later and a Candlelight Committee was formed. This Committee now runs Candlelight on behalf of the Traders of Dunster.